Feed aggregator

  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.

Apple allows streaming games on iOS, but there’s a catch [Updated]

ArsTechnica - Fri, 09/11/2020 - 12:06pm
Apple allows streaming games on iOS, but there’s a catch [Updated]

Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson / Getty Images)

New App Store Review Guidelines published by Apple today open the door for streaming game apps like Google Stadia and Microsoft's xCloud to be available on iOS devices for the first time. But the guidelines also impose some onerous requirements on multi-game streaming subscriptions that could prove difficult for services to meet.

By way of summary, Apple's new guidelines say that any streaming game apps simply have to "adhere to all guidelines" for non-streaming apps. That means "each game update must be submitted for review, developers must provide appropriate metadata for search, games must use in-app purchase to unlock features or functionality, etc."

More than that, though, each game in a multi-game streaming subscription needs to be submitted separately for App Store review. That step is necessary so each game can "[have] an App Store product page, appear in charts and search, [have] user ratings and review... be managed with ScreenTime and other parental control apps, appear on the user’s device, etc."

Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments

New Google Nest Thermostat hits the FCC, possibly with air gesture controls

ArsTechnica - Fri, 09/11/2020 - 11:51am
Promotional image of a hand adjusting a digital thermostat.

The 3rd-gen Nest Thermostat from 2015. (credit: Nest)

A new Google Nest thermostat has hit the FCC. Droid-Life was the first to spot this listing on the government's site. The listing is in confidential mode, so it's sparse on details, but the details we do have are kind of weird. We think it has air gesture controls.

First, the RF exposure report lists the device as a "thermostat" and says it has 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, which all seems pretty normal. Then, it lists the device with a "60GHz Transmitter," which has not been on a previous Nest Thermostat. One possible use for a 60GHz transmitter is "WiGig," a 60GHz form of Wi-Fi that can hit 7Gbps. High-speed data transfers don't really seem appropriate for a thermostat, though, so the other more likely possibility is Project Soli, Google's air gesture system that was first commercialized late last year on the Pixel 4.

Project Soli is an air gesture system that Google has been developing for some time. It's a compact radar system-on-a-chip, and Google has FCC approval to use Soli in the 57- to 64-GHz frequency band. The original sales pitch for Soli was that, by blasting your hand with 60Ghz and capturing the returning signal, Soli could detect "sub-millimeter motions of your fingers," which would enable very fine gesture control. It was possible to pinch your thumb and forefinger together for a button press or rub the two fingers together to spin a dial. Soli was originally envisioned for devices without large touchscreens, like speakers or smartwatches. A Nest thermostat would likely fit into that description, since it doesn't have a touchscreen and instead relies on a spin-able scroll wheel that doubles as the outside body of the thermostat.

Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Grab a recommended 90W charger for your phone, Switch, and laptop for $43

ArsTechnica - Fri, 09/11/2020 - 10:41am
Grab a recommended 90W charger for your phone, Switch, and laptop for $43

Enlarge (credit: Ars Technica)

Today's Dealmaster is headlined by a new low price on RavPower's 90W 2-Port USB-C Wall Charger, which is currently down to $43 on Amazon with an on-page coupon. For reference, we typically see this charger retail between $48 and $55 online.

We recommend this charger in our guide to home office gear, which we published earlier on Friday. It's one of the few USB-C chargers capable of putting out this much power through multiple ports. The device can output 90W of power through either port, which is enough to charge many laptops at or—in the case of especially power-hungry notebooks like the 16-inch MacBook Pro—at least close to their maximum speeds, provided you have an appropriate cable. Given that, the charger has no trouble charging smartphones, tablets, or USB-C devices like the Nintendo Switch as quickly as possible, either. The whole thing outputs a maximum of 90W when both ports are in use simultaneously, but it's smart enough to adjust its output based on what's plugged in, so you could charge two thinner laptops at 45W each or have one port charge a laptop at 60W while the other refills a smartphone at 18W (which is a common maximum for newer phones).

This is a gallium nitride (GaN) charger, so it's remarkably compact for its capabilities, measuring just 2.5 x 2.5 x 1.2 inches. It also includes a USB-C to USB-C charging cable in the box. While we'd prefer it have the safety of a USB-IF certification, it comes with an 18-month warranty, and other outlets have rated it highly. We wouldn't recommend spending this much on a wall charger unless you specifically need a laptop charger and multiple ports—90W is still overkill for most smartphones and tablets for now—but if you do, it will cut down the time you spend waiting for your devices to refill.

Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Price gouging and defective products rampant on Amazon, reports find

ArsTechnica - Fri, 09/11/2020 - 10:31am
Amazon's orange-yellow logo wall.

Enlarge / Amazon's orange-yellow logo wall. (credit: David Ryder/Getty Images)

New reports released this week serve as a cautionary tale for consumers who shop at Amazon, by far the largest online retailer in the US. While complaints about Amazon's third-party vendor marketplace are by now commonplace, the new reports find that not only did Amazon itself price-gouge customers during the height of the pandemic, but also that many of its white-label, Amazon-branded products are just as likely to be dangerously defective as third-party goods.

Product shortages—both for pandemic-related supplies such as masks and sanitizer and also for basic household goods such as toilet paper—hit nationwide in February, March, and April as the country shut down and everyone who could holed up at home. As tends to happen when demand skyrockets but supply doesn't, prices on a wide range of items went up. And up. And then up some more.

By March, regulators were desperately trying to stem the tide of price gouging flooding online retailers, especially Amazon's sprawling third-party Marketplace.

Read 15 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Control snafu shows how one publisher is struggling with next-gen upgrades

ArsTechnica - Fri, 09/11/2020 - 10:22am
control game

Enlarge (credit: Remedy)

Last month, 505 Games announced that it was "unfortunately unable to offer an upgrade path to all existing [console] Control players" for PlayStation 5 and/or Xbox Series S/X enhancements. Today, though, an apparent temporary snafu is showing just how simple such a free upgrade could be for many Control players on current-generation systems, at least.

As reported in a lengthy ResetEra thread, a number of players who previously bought the Control Digital Deluxe Edition on PS4 were surprised last night to find they also owned the Control Ultimate Edition. That new version includes the base game, DLC, and season pass and is the one that "take[s] full advantage of the power and features provided by these new consoles," as 505 Games puts it.

Within hours, though, those same players noted their Ultimate Edition ownership had been revoked and reverted back to the current-generation Digital Deluxe Edition. That version will not get any hardware-specific enhancements when played on next-generation consoles.

Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Nikola stock craters after chairman fails to rebut fraud allegations

ArsTechnica - Fri, 09/11/2020 - 9:59am
Nikola Chairman Trevor Milton unveils the Nikola One truck in December 2016.

Enlarge / Nikola Chairman Trevor Milton unveils the Nikola One truck in December 2016. (credit: Nikola)

Stock in electric truck startup Nikola has plunged for the second straight day after a short-selling investment firm published a bombshell report alleging that the company's December 2016 unveiling of the Nikola One truck was a brazen fraud. Nikola's stock lost 11 percent on Thursday and is down an additional 15 percent in Friday morning trading.

At the December 2016 event, Nikola Chairman Trevor Milton repeatedly described the truck as fully functional. But that wasn't quite true, as Milton admitted to Bloomberg earlier this year. The supposedly hydrogen-powered truck didn't have a hydrogen fuel cell, nor did it have the motors and gears required to drive the wheels. Milton claimed the parts had been taken out of the truck for safety reasons.

The new report from Hindenburg Research claims that the scale of Nikola's deception was even greater than was previously known. The firm claims that the prototype's supposedly functional dashboard display was powered by an extension cord snaking up from under the stage.

Read 13 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Gwyneth Paltrow’s pseudoscience Goop series renewed on Netflix

ArsTechnica - Fri, 09/11/2020 - 8:43am
Promotional image of Oscar-winner Gwyneth Paltrow emerging from a stylized depiction of the female genital anatomy.

Enlarge / Promotional image of Oscar-winner Gwyneth Paltrow emerging from a stylized depiction of the female genital anatomy. (credit: Netflix)

Gwyneth Paltrow—actor, pseudoscience-peddler, empowerer of women, and person who recently learned what a vagina is—will return to Netflix with a second season of The Goop Lab.

The six-episode docuseries of Paltrow’s wellness and “contextual commerce” empire, Goop, has been renewed, according to an exclusive report by Variety.

The first season, which oozed onto the streaming platform in late January of this year, followed Paltrow and her exploited Goopers as they aimlessly took to the high seas of junk science and marinated in snake oil spas. Individual episodes explored important topics such as the bright side of hypothermia, the powers of a magician who can massage your aura with moves he learned watching The Karate Kid, Goopers tripping on mushrooms for pretty much no reason at all, the benefits of a $50 salmon fillet, and how to be a fortune-teller in case you need a back-up career in the circus.

Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments

The weird and wonderful Flying-V made a successful first flight

ArsTechnica - Fri, 09/11/2020 - 8:07am
Members of the flight test team pose with the Flying-V model in Germany in June 2020.

Enlarge / Members of the flight test team pose with the Flying-V model in Germany in June 2020. (credit: Malcolm Brown/TU Delft)

When it comes to new airplanes, the airline industry rarely strays outside its comfort zone. "A cigar-shaped fuselage atop a pair of wings, with three stabilizers at the back" describes pretty much every airliner in service today. Convergent evolution means there aren't even very many double-deckers left, and most planes carry their engines under the wings. Which is why the Flying-V is such a breath of fresh air.

We looked at this weird-looking concept a couple of times in 2019. Originally, it was the brainchild of a graduate student at the Technical University of Berlin, then working on his thesis at Airbus. A year later, it attracted the attention of a research group at TU Delft in the Netherlands, which has worked with Dutch airline KLM to develop the idea as a celebration of the airline's centenary.

Instead of a conventional airliner design, the Flying-V is just a pair of fat wings joined in a V. Passengers would sit toward the front, along the leading edges, with cargo space closer to the wingtips. The jet engines are above the wings, located at the back of each wing opposite a small vertical fin. A full-size Flying-V would have the same width as an Airbus A350—keeping things simple for airports—but would use 20 percent less fuel.

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How I learned to tell stories on purpose in the new Frog Fractions

ArsTechnica - Fri, 09/11/2020 - 7:53am
Believe it or not, there is a pretty interesting story that (somewhat) explains what's going on here...

Enlarge / Believe it or not, there is a pretty interesting story that (somewhat) explains what's going on here...

In this article, I'll explain how I went from having basically no idea how to construct a story to making players cry with my story (in a good way this time). There are big spoilers for the Frog Fractions Hat DLC below, so maybe play it first (or keep reading until an explicit warning about spoilers comes up).

When I ran the Kickstarter for Frog Fractions 2, most people probably guessed that I had no idea what I was going to make. I had made Frog Fractions entirely improvisationally and I figured I could just do that again.

The trick is, when you get something right the first time, you haven't learned anything. You have no idea which elements were due to your innate talent and which were accidental. The most important accident, I discovered much later, was that I built Frog Fractions in chronological order, and I designed each scene to follow naturally from the previous ones.

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Archaeologists with drones discover pre-Columbian earthworks in Kansas

ArsTechnica - Fri, 09/11/2020 - 7:52am
On the left, the newly discovered earthwork and a few possible houses are marked on an aerial image of the site. On the left, you can see the outline of the circular earthwork in the thermal image.

Enlarge / On the left, the newly discovered earthwork and a few possible houses are marked on an aerial image of the site. On the left, you can see the outline of the circular earthwork in the thermal image.

It’s hard to imagine monumental archaeological sites still lying undiscovered beneath the fields of Kansas. But a drone survey just revealed the eroded remains of a wide ditch that once encircled a 2,000 square meter (21,000 square feet) area on a bluff overlooking the Walnut River. Filled in by 400 years of erosion and covered by topsoil and grass, the pre-Columbian earthwork shows up in thermal imaging but is otherwise nearly invisible from above.

“Our findings demonstrate that undiscovered monumental earthworks may still exist in the Great Plains,” said Dartmouth College archaeologist Jesse Casana. “You just need a different archaeological approach to recognize them.”

The newly rediscovered earthwork is part of a cluster of archaeological sites in the area, which was once home to the ancestors of the Wichita people. Those sites, abandoned for centuries and lost beneath cattle pastures and farms, may have been Etzanoa, the “Great Settlement” described by the conquistador Juan de Oñate, who marched a force through the area in 1601.

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Charlie Bolden says the quiet part out loud: SLS rocket will go away

ArsTechnica - Fri, 09/11/2020 - 7:44am
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden speaks in front of Falcon 9 rocket.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden speaks in front of Falcon 9 rocket. (credit: NASA)

Charlie Bolden, a four-time astronaut, served as NASA administrator from mid-2009 through early 2017. During that time, he oversaw the creation and initial development of the agency's large Space Launch System rocket.

Although some NASA officials such as then-Deputy Director Lori Garver were wary of the rocket's costs—about $20 billion has now been poured into development of a launch vehicle based on existing technology—Bolden remained a defender of the large rocket, calling it a lynchpin of the agency's plans to send humans beyond low-Earth orbit, perhaps to the Moon or Mars. He also dismissed the efforts of commercial space companies like SpaceX to build comparable technology.

When I sat down with Bolden for an interview in 2014 at Johnson Space Center, I asked why NASA was investing so much in the SLS rocket when SpaceX was using its own funds to develop the lower-cost Falcon Heavy rocket. His response at the time: “Let’s be very honest. We don’t have a commercially available heavy-lift vehicle. The Falcon 9 Heavy may some day come about. It’s on the drawing board right now. SLS is real.”

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Russian state hackers are targeting Biden and Trump campaigns, MSFT warns

ArsTechnica - Fri, 09/11/2020 - 5:45am
A business suit does not make this threatening man less threatening.

Enlarge / Vladimir Putin. (credit: Kremlin.ru)

Fancy Bear—the Russian state hacking group that brought you the smash-and-leak attacks on the Democratic National Committee and World Anti-Doping Agency, the NotPetya worm that inflicted billions of dollars of damage worldwide, and the VPN Filter compromise of 500,000 routers—is targeting organizations involved in elections taking place in the US and UK, Microsoft has warned.

Over a two-week period last month, the group attempted attacks on more than 6,900 accounts belonging to 28 organizations, Microsoft said. Between September 2019 and last June, Fancy Bear targeted tens of thousands of accounts belonging to employees of more than 200 organizations. The hackers use two techniques—one known as "brute forcing" and the other called "password spraying"—in an attempt to obtain targets' Office365 login credentials. So far, none of the attacks has succeeded.

Security researchers from a host of companies widely agree that Fancy Bear works on behalf of the GRU, Russia's military intelligence agency. The GRU has been tied to more than a decade of advanced hacking campaigns, including several that have inflicted serious damage to national security. Industry members use an assortment of colorful names to refer to the group. Besides Fancy Bear, there's also Pawn Storm, Sofacy, Sednit, and Tsar Team. Microsoft's name for the outfit is Strontium.

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Rocket Report: Delta IV Heavy gets a new date, SpaceX to destroy test tank

ArsTechnica - Fri, 09/11/2020 - 5:01am
A rocket lifts off against a blue sky.

Enlarge / Rocket Lab launches its "I Can't Believe It's Not Optical" mission on August 31. (credit: Rocket Lab)

Welcome to Edition 3.15 of the Rocket Report! The realm of small lift overflows with news in this edition. And as usual, our report covers news from around the world, spanning this week from Germany, to China, to India, to South America. Ours is a global enterprise.

As always, we welcome reader submissions, and if you don't want to miss an issue, please subscribe using the box below (the form will not appear on AMP-enabled versions of the site). Each report will include information on small-, medium-, and heavy-lift rockets as well as a quick look ahead at the next three launches on the calendar.

Rocket Lab launches a Photon satellite. The launch company said it has sent its first in-house-designed and -built operational satellite into orbit. "First Light" was deployed to orbit on Rocket Lab's 14th Electron mission, "I Can't Believe It's Not Optical," which lifted off from Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand on August 31. The mission's primary customer was a 100kg microsatellite for Capella Space.

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Apple’s September 15 “Time Flies” event: What to expect

ArsTechnica - Fri, 09/11/2020 - 4:54am
Interior of Google HQ.

Enlarge / One of two identical stairwells at the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple's Cupertino campus, where the company now hosts many of its product reveals. (credit: Samuel Axon)

Every September, Apple unveils its new lineup of iPhone and Apple Watch devices in a live event with press, influencers, and industry figures present—or does it? This year, we're not quite certain.

Last week, the northern California tech giant put out invitations to a video stream from the Steve Jobs Theater (the location on the company's new campus where it normally hosts people in person) to announce some new products. The tagline was "Time Flies"—and we'll get into some interpretations of that in a moment—but time sure isn't flying for most onlookers, as we move into the ninth month of the COVID-19 pandemic.

And because of that pandemic's effect on Apple's operations, there have been a few scattered reports that the company may not manage to ship its new iPhones in the September window it usually targets, even as there are other conflicting rumors indicating that yes, iPhones are indeed coming this month.

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The Ars Technica ultimate buying guide for your home office setup

ArsTechnica - Fri, 09/11/2020 - 4:30am
Vari Standing Desk with a monitor and laptop setup

Enlarge / We spent months researching and testing all sorts of gear to help you upgrade your suddenly essential home office. (credit: Corey Gaskin)

Working and schooling from home are part of the new normal. Putting together a home office setup that's pleasant, comfortable, and productive can be tough and time consuming, but lucky for you, we’ve been working from home for years here at Ars.

We're here to tell you remote work doesn't have to feel so remote.

Naturally, as discerning tech connoisseurs, we have some well-curated picks for all the gadgets and furniture you need to make your home office setup cozy and productive. We also threw in a few nice-to-have upgrades for your workspace if you've already got the basics down.

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Trump vows not to extend TikTok deadline beyond September 15

ArsTechnica - Thu, 09/10/2020 - 8:40pm
Trump speaks at Andrews Air Force Base on September 10, 2020, before boarding a flight for a campaign rally in Michigan.

Enlarge / Trump speaks at Andrews Air Force Base on September 10, 2020, before boarding a flight for a campaign rally in Michigan. (credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns TikTok, is facing a looming September 15 deadline to sell its US operations or have them shut down by the Trump administration. On Thursday evening, President Trump told reporters that the deadline wouldn't be pushed back.

"We'll either close up TikTok in this country for security reasons, or it'll be sold," Trump said just before boarding a flight to Michigan. "I'm not extending deadlines. No. It's September 15. There will be no extension of the TikTok deadline."

Reports indicate that both Microsoft and Oracle have made offers for ByteDance's US operations. The problem is that the companies may not be able to appease the conflicting demands of the US and Chinese governments.

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It’s the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season, and the tropics are bonkers

ArsTechnica - Thu, 09/10/2020 - 1:46pm
A satellite image of the state of play Thursday across the tropics.

Enlarge / A satellite image of the state of play Thursday across the tropics. (credit: NOAA)

The historical peak of the Atlantic hurricane season—the point at which, climatologically speaking, the most activity takes place—is today. And this being 2020, the Atlantic tropics are not wanting in vim and vigor.

The latest outlook from the National Hurricane Center shows two active named systems in the Atlantic: tropical storms Paulette and Rene. Although both of these storms should turn north well short of the continental United States, there is some concern about Paulette reaching Bermuda as a Category 1 hurricane by early next week.

Looking beyond these two storms reveals no fewer than four "areas of interest" to watch on the hurricane map.

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Immortals hands-on: I guess Ubisoft is copying Breath of the Wild now

ArsTechnica - Thu, 09/10/2020 - 12:45pm

As part of today's "Ubisoft Forward" event—which began with a statement from CEO Yves Guillemot apologizing for years of abusive behavior and a recent PR faux pas—the game studio revealed a game that, in light of the company's issues, seems like a weird flex.

The two-hour demo I played of Immortals: Fenyx Rising, a third-person adventure in the vein of Nintendo's Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, feels like a game from a problematic Ubisoft era. (It's been around for long enough, having originally been revealed as a game called Gods & Monsters, but now has a new title and a December 2 release date.) Before I get into the game's mechanics—which rip off BotW so shamelessly that I wonder whether Nintendo may press charges—I want to talk about its tone.

“Get a room, already”

The game stars Fenyx, a mortal Greek woman with supernatural powers like flight and telekinesis, on a mission to restore order to Mount Olympus. At first glance, you may look at the armor-clad hero and think Ubisoft has continued its streak of cool-and-powerful game heroines, following Assassin's Creed Odyssey's Kassandra.

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Revisiting the spectacular failure that was the Bill Gates deposition

ArsTechnica - Thu, 09/10/2020 - 12:40pm
Revisiting the spectacular failure that was the Bill Gates deposition

Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson)

When Microsoft backed a key motion filed two weeks ago in Epic Games’ antitrust lawsuit against Apple, it raised a few eyebrows.

Two decades ago, the US Justice Department, 18 states, and the District of Columbia sued Microsoft on allegations the Windows operating system represented a monopoly that the company was wielding to prop up its then fledgling Internet Explorer browser, in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890. The suit expressly claimed that Microsoft was using Windows to freeze out the Netscape browser and, more tacitly, Sun Microsystems’ cross-platform Java platform as well.

The software maker vehemently bristled at the allegations and claimed that the action represented a government intrusion brought at the behest of companies that couldn’t compete on the merits. Microsoft warned that the action would set a dangerous precedent that could stifle innovation for years to come.

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New gravitational-lensing study hints at problems for dark matter models

ArsTechnica - Thu, 09/10/2020 - 12:12pm
Image of a large group of galaxies, with inset magnified views of some of them.

Enlarge / The massive galaxy cluster MACSJ 1206. Embedded within the cluster are the distorted images of distant background galaxies, seen as arcs and smeared features. (credit: NASA, ESA, G. Caminha, M. Meneghetti, P. Natarajan, and the CLASH team.)

While the idea of dark matter was originally proposed to explain the structure of galaxies, one of its great successes was explaining the nature of the Universe itself. Features of the Cosmic Microwave Background can be explained by the presence of dark matter. And models of the early Universe produce galaxies and galaxy clusters by building on structures formed by dark matter. The fact that these models get the big picture so right has been a strong argument in their favor.

But a new study suggests that the same models get the details wrong—by an entire order of magnitude. The people behind the study suggest that either there's something wrong with the models, or our understanding of dark matter may need an adjustment.

Under a lens

The new study, performed by an international team of researchers, took advantage of a phenomenon called gravitational lensing. Gravity warps space itself, and it can do so in a way that bends light, analogous to a lens. If a massive object—say, a galaxy—sits between us and a distant object, it can create a gravitational lens that magnifies or distorts the distant object. Depending on the precise details of how the objects are arranged, the results can be anything from a simple magnification to circular rings or having the object appear multiple times.

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